Signs Lowered to Benefit Impaired Drivers

By Lindsay Wilcox
|  Wednesday, Jul 13, 2011  |  Updated 5:27 PM CDT
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Study shows impaired drivers tend to look at the ground while driving to keep it between the lines.

Lindsay Wilcox, NBCDFW.com

Study shows impaired drivers tend to look at the ground while driving to keep it between the lines.

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Research shows the majority of wrong way drivers are impaired drivers; either under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and that impaired drivers tend to look at the ground while driving to keep it between the lines.

That is the reason the NTTA lowered Do Not Enter and Wrong Way signs from the standard seven feet height to just two feet above the ground.

It's an experiment at 28 ramps throughout the NTTA system. The hope is that the new, lowered height will not only make the signs brighter because they're in line with headlights, but also might catch the attention of impaired drivers before it's too late. 

"If we can catch them when they're driving on and about to get on a high speed roadway that's our best chance to save a life and get their attention. Maybe they'll turn around," said Marty Lege, Chairman, Wrong Way Drivier Task Force, NTTA.

The NTTA received federal approval to lower those signs at selected locations.  Data will be collected over the next two years. If they're effective, lower signs could begin showing up on roadways across Texas and nationwide. 

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